Natural Family Planning

Natural family planning is a method of birth control which is based upon timing sexual activity around a woman’s menstrual cycle. It’s not just a single method but an assortment of approaches.

The chances for success or failure with any of these methods is based on your ability to:

  • Abstain from sex throughout the fertile period or use an alternative method, like condoms, while in the fertile period
  • Identify the signs that ovulation is getting ready to occur

Natural family planning doesn’t have the success rate that most other birth control methods have. 1 in 4 women who utilize this method end up pregnant.

The method will not be suitable for women who:

  • Have unpredictable menstrual cycles who might not have the ability to tell if they are fertile
  • Shouldn’t become pregnant due to medical reasons
  • Take certain prescription drugs (for example, antibiotics, thyroid medications, and antihistamines) that could affect the characteristics of vaginal secretions, which can make it impossible to read mucus signs
  • Have abnormal bleeding, cervicitis, or vaginitis (these cause the cervical mucus technique untrustworthy)
  • Have certain issues not related to fertility (for example, a fever) which could produce changes in basal body temperature

It is important to understand when ovulation is likely to occur. For the majority of women, an egg is released nearly two weeks ahead of her next estimated menstrual cycle. The egg continues to be capable of being fertilized for around 24 hours after it’s release. Sperm are able to live inside a woman’s body for 3 days or longer.

There are several types of natural family planning that include the following five methods:

1. Ovulation/cervical mucus method
2. Basal body temperature method
3. Calendar method
4. Symptothermal method
5. Lactational amenorrhea


exam room